Queue For Cats


Lunchtime, Holy Monastery of St Nicholas of the Cats, Cyprus

According to Byzantine legend, Saint Helen brought hundreds of cats from Egypt and Palestine to Cyprus to rid the island of poisonous snakes in the fourth century A.D. At mealtime, the monks would toll a bell to summon the cats in from their battle with the serpents. After the meal another bell would send them back out to fight the good fight. The monastery (now a convent) is still on the Akrotiri peninsula, as are the cats and the snakes. The ancient battle between serpent and feline rages on…between meals.